By Denise A. Valdez, Reporter

THE Philippines continues to be an important market for the Radisson Hotel Group, which is in the midst of a five-year plan to triple its footprint in Asia Pacific.

Andre De Jong, Radisson Hotel Group Vice-President for Operations in Southeast Asia & Pacific, said in a media briefing in Quezon City Tuesday the Philippines is currently the group’s third biggest market in the region.

“As far as the Philippines is concerned, the number of hotels we operate here, which is five… (makes it) number 3 in Asia Pacific after China and India by number of hotels,” he said. “That goes to show the importance (that the Philippines has as a country) for Radisson Hotel Group.”

This is in relation to the company’s “Destination 2022” plan which Mr. De Jong presented yesterday. In the three years through 2020, the company will focus on investing in a global technology platform and improving its revenue management. Come 2021 until 2022, Radisson Hotel Group will boost its efforts to grow its global network.

“Under the five-year plan, exponential growth and development… is of course a very important component. In our case, having in operation and under development around 230 hotels in Asia Pacific alone, we aim to triple that (size) in the region (within the period),” Mr. De Jong said.

Radisson Hotel Group has already firmed up plans to open two more hotels in the Philippines by 2022 — its Park Inn by Radisson brand in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental and Radisson RED brand in Mandaue City, Cebu. It is partnering with SM Hotels and Conventions Corp. for the Bacolod development and with Cebu Landmasters, Inc. for the Cebu development.

The two new hotels would mean an additional 293 rooms in the Philippines for the Radisson Hotel Group.

This year, Radisson Hotel Group opened two new hotels in the country — Park Inn by Radisson Iloilo in April and Park Inn by Radisson North EDSA in September.

Its other existing hotels are Radisson Blu Cebu and Park Inn by Radisson in Pampanga, Davao City and Iloilo.

“Currently, with the number of hotels that we operate here, the Philippines represents a significant part of our portfolio. I think, when we look at the future… the potential is significant,” Mr. De Jong said.

He noted the government’s target of achieving 8.2 million foreign tourist arrivals in 2019 shows “a lot of opportunity to grow” for the country. The increased connectivity in secondary and tertiary cities, improved infrastructure and growing middle class with spending power are other factors that likewise keep the company bullish on the Philippines.

Radisson Hotel Group’s global portfolio covers seven hotel brands, namely Radisson Collection, Radisson Blu, Park Plaza, Radisson RED, Radisson, Park Inn by Radisson and Country Inn & Suites. In Asia Pacific, the company has 135 hotels in operation and 96 under construction.